CCSE Special Seminar

CCSE Special Seminar

November 15, 2023, 4 PM ET

Marlar Lounge (37-252) or Zoom Webinar (

Computational Modeling Challenges in Cutting-edge Semiconductor Fabrication

Mattan Kamon
Senior Technical Director
Lam Research Corporation

We all know the world is dependent on semiconductor chips and the industry has continued to deliver more capabilities at higher and higher densities.  For instance, the most recent mobile phone microprocessor boasts nearly 200 million logic transistors per mm^2 and the most recent non-volatile memory sports over 10 Gb/mm^2.    In the past decade these densities have been achieved in part by the invention of transistors and memory bits that are built from 3D structures on silicon rather than planar.  Equally as challenging as designing devices in 3D is figuring out how to fabricate those 3D structures on the tiny scale of 10s of nanometers for logic, and achieving aspect ratios reaching 100:1 for memory.

In this talk we discuss the role and the challenges of computational modeling in fabricating devices at these scales.   The physical phenomena at play span from plasma physics to surface chemistry to atomic collision cascades within solids.  Because of the many phenomena involved, there is no single partial differential equation to solve nor is it feasible to apply methods such as molecular dynamics which capture the interaction between individual atoms.   Instead, a modeling and data science framework built around “mechanisms” has been developed to appropriately trade-off accuracy for speed to deliver computation times on the order of hours for individual steps in the fabrication sequence.  We will detail this approach as it is used in the industry, and specifically within the Lam Research modeling group in Waltham, MA.

Mattan Kamon is Senior Technical Director at Lam Research where his team is responsible for the semiconductor process modeling features of the commercially-available SEMulator3D® simulation tool.   He received his PhD from MIT in 1998 in electrical engineering and computer science where his research focused on fast algorithms for parasitic extraction of electrical interconnect.  After graduating he joined the software startup, Coventor, where he worked on numerical methods for the simulation of inertial and RF MEMS.  In 2017 his focus shifted to semiconductor process modeling when Coventor was acquired by Lam Research, one of the largest semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment manufacturers in the world.  He holds patents related to software simulation tools for semiconductor process modeling, electrical modeling, polymer modeling for directed-self assembly and MEMS.

Computational Modeling Challenges in Cutting-edge Semiconductor Fabrication
Mattan Kamon, Senior Technical Director, Lam Research Corporation